An Outbreak of Syphilis on an Indian Reservation: Descriptive Epidemiology and Disease-Control Measures

Am J Public Health. 1989 Jan;79(1):83-5. doi: 10.2105/ajph.79.1.83.


From January 1983 through January 1985, 88 cases of early adult syphilis and five cases of congenital syphilis were identified among residents of a southwestern Indian reservation. The male-to-female ratio of primary and secondary syphilis cases was 1.7: 1; over 90 per cent of women were of childbearing age. Using community health workers to determine the social circles of infected persons was effective in identifying persons at risk; treatment of partners of infected persons prior to development of seroreactivity contributed to the successful control of this outbreak.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arizona
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Syphilis / epidemiology*
  • Syphilis / ethnology
  • Syphilis / prevention & control